Ecumenical Advocacy Days

Training Day: March 25th. Special training for Presbyterians:
Compassion Peace and Justice: Church Models that Work

Location: New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC

Take Action for the Philippines

Recently Rev. Gradye Parsons (Stated Clerk) wrote to the President of the Philippines in support of releasing Judilyn Oliveros with the birth of her son, and all of the Morong 43 community health workers. Our partners in the United Church of Christ in the Philippines have seen this letter and are grateful for our support as partners.

Now is the time to get the word out to send letters/emails on the immediate release of Judilyn and others in medical need, and all the Morong 43 as soon as possible. Can you join in this witness for justice in the Philippines?

An International Observer’s Perspective on the Philippines Election

By Roger Scott Powers

In May, I was privileged to serve as an election observer in the Philippines. I was one of 86 people from 11 countries to participate in the People’s International Observers’ Mission (PIOM), which was convened by a coalition of Philippine religious and human rights groups, including the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP).

An Election Eve Haiku Prayer

Roger Scott Powers

We travel today,
fanning out across this vast

All praying to God
for free and fair elections
in the Philippines.

Filipinos smile,
masking fears of violence,
coercion and fraud.

Hoping for the best,
these strong, determined people
will go to the polls.

Exercise their right
to self-determination,

Strong relationships lead to hope

By the Rev. Matt Lang, election observer in the Philippines, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

On Saturday morning we had a press conference with several members of the media. Each participant was asked to give a brief statement about why they were in the Philippines as an election observer and what they expected.

A prayer for the Philippines at the time of election

God of compassion,
hold the people and the leaders of the Philippines
gently in these last days before the election.
Fill hearts and guide spirits
so that the leaders and people turn from violence.
Grant courage to nurture relationships
that have long existed
so that faint sparks of hope might be fanned into brilliant light.
May they honor, respect, and care for one another.

Host an International Peacemaker

Encourage your presbytery to host an International Peacemaker this fall.

International Peacemakers are individuals from our partner churches who are engaged in peacemaking ministries. The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program arranges for them to visit the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to share about their work seeking justice and pursuing peace in the name of Jesus Christ.

PPF's GA Summary

PC(USA) takes strong action for peace.

As divisions around issues of sexuality continue to dominate conversations in the wake of the 218th General Assembly of the PC(USA), our church has demonstrated remarkable unity in its collective call to peacemaking. In fact, on many issues there was such consensus among commissioners that little or no discussion was offered in plenary sessions. We want to highlight the many ways our denomination adopted policies that will strengthen its larger witness for peacemaking in our broken world.

Philippine church leaders face death for advocating change

Photo: Eliezer M. Pascua
Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua, general secretary of the United Church of Christ in Philippines. Photo by Danny Bolin

SAN JOSE, June 27, 2008 — Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua leads a church that lives at the intersection of uncertainty and faith.

Pascua, general secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP), has seen 26 pastors and lay leaders killed over the past five years for the stands they have taken.

Church leaders who continue to speak out for the nation’s marginalized do so not knowing how the military and government might react. Imprisonment or death could very well be the result.

Nevertheless, the UCCP holds fast to its conviction that faithfulness requires the church to be advocates for people who are disenfranchised. “As one of the largest mainline denominations, we believe an integral part of our mission and ministry is to get involved in the struggles and hopes of the people,” said Pascua, an ecumenical delegate to the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “The whole UCCP carries this conviction.”

GA passes several strong actions for peace

The 218th General Assembly of the PC(USA) has taken action on several recommendations from the committee on Peacemaking and International Issues, concerning the Philippines, Colombia, Conscientious Objectors, and Israel/Palestine: